TAMPA, Fla. — Professionals that fight cyber threats are in high demand, but the non-profit Black Girls in Cyber says the field is not as diverse as it can be.
The organization is giving African-American women from all walks of life a chance at a second career in cyber security.
What You Need To Know
- The non-profit Black Girls in Cyber is on a mission to diversify the field with its six month cohort program
- The organization trains and supports black women who are transitioning into cyber security, STEM and privacy careers
- 13 ladies from fields including academia and medicine are part of the 2021 Black Girls in Cyber Cohort
"I am a Senior Information Security Engineer," said Carla Plummer.
It's a challenging career that has afforded the mother of two the flexibility to work from home.
"My focus is security tools," she added. It is just one job of a vast industry, yet lacking when it comes to diversity in talent.
"You don't see very many women," said Plummer. "When you talk about African-American women, the key is early exposure."
The non-profit Black Girls in Cyber is on a mission to change that with its six month cohort program.
Google Privacy Security Expert Tayla C. Parker is the founder and Executive Director of the organization.
"One of the things that I started to do is create awareness around these different roles," said Parker.
Entry level roles generate minimum salaries of $70,000 and up. The organization trains and supports black women who are transitioning into cyber security, STEM and privacy careers.
"Cybersecurity is one of those fields where various perspectives are needed because when you think about cyber crimes the hackers are a very diverse group of people," said Parker.
Women from all paths and careers have sought out the group including board member Akilah Tunsill who previously worked as a nurse practioner for 15 years.
"The pandemic was a big factor, but I was already considering a switch," said Tunsill.
The Orlando native now works as a full-time cyber defense specialist.
"I feel like I shifted my attention to something as equally important as medicine," she adds. "As working in medicine you want to keep people healthy. You also need to be healthy with your affairs, dealing with your personal information on the internet. "
A total of 13 ladies from fields including academia and medicine are part of the 2021 Black Girls in Cyber Cohort.
"The different breaches and hackers winning so much in this space that draws a lot of attention and people want to get a part of the action," said Plummer.
BGIC is building a pipeline of diverse talent that will eliminate those cyber threats.